A big part of forging a successful career as a professional artist is recognizing what obstacles must be overcome and then using the same creative faculties one puts into practice in the studio when setting out to eliminate the perceived barrier(s).
Over the winter of 2010/11 I was responsible for designing and painting a huge 1000 square foot mural that covers the entire sanctuary wall of Sacred Heart Church in Saskatoon, SK. The project was a great success and garnered some very favorable publicity and comments from many people that I respect and admire.
There was one big problem.
The unveiling ceremony was a very formal affair that consisted of a verbal presentation of the symbolism and meaning of the mural that I conducted from a podium at the front of the Church. The people in attendance listened attentively but the setting did not allow for feedback or a two-way conversation with the group. This left me feeling unsatisfied as I would have preferred a dialogue.
Months later I hit on the idea of holding an exhibition of artwork at the Church Hall that would include opening up the Church to the public during the time of the show.
After meeting with fellow Manitou Beach-based artists Helen Herr and Darrell Baschak we hit on the idea "ART of IMPORT", as we are importing art from the village to the city. The plan includes hosting guided tours of the mural with small groups of people that attend the show. That way, it will be possible to create a flow of discussion between myself and the attendants, which will be much more satisfying than merely 'presenting' as a talking head.
On the other hand, the exhibition itself will create more exposure within the dynamic Saskatoon community for myself as an easel painter and the other two artists that I am bringing in with me to show. As well, we are all in agreement to offer a certain commission of sales to the Church which will be deposited into a dedicated fund which will be button-holed to finance future mural-painting projects at the Church. So in effect, the exhibition will be a fund-raiser for the Church Mural Project which we envision will be an ongoing enterprise.